Sawmill Market will be the state's first food hall

KOAT 7 NEWS - Written by: Shellye Leggett | July 16, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Sawmill District, an area that's continuing to grow, is getting a new addition. A former lumber warehouse in the district, will soon be home to 24 different local businesses.

"The Sawmill Market will be the heart of the district," said Sawmill Market leasing agent, Cindy Campos.

The space is 34,000 square-feet and will be New Mexico's first food hall. The businesses will offer coffee, baked goods, burgers and waffles, among other items. None of the 24 businesses will sell the same thing.

"We want to create that community where people come and gather and experience different retails and different types of foods," Campos said.

Sawmill Market sits across the street from Hotel Chaco, a high-volume area that Sawmill Market tenants said will be great for business.

"We'll have a much larger access to a customer base, but also, it will just be great for our mission and for our vision to kind of tap into the tourist industry here would be really nice," said Plata Coffee co-founder Rose Kerkmans.

Plata Coffee is currently at 8th Street and Silver Avenue. It's co-owners said they're ready to move into the Sawmill Market.

"It's exciting, for sure. It's a different kind of experience, not only currently running something, but also trying to set up something else," Kerkmans said.

Doors open in February 2020.

Sawmill Market rises in ABQ

Albuquerque Journal - Written by: Stephen Hamway | July 15, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In the early 20th century, Albuquerque’s vibrant timber industry was quartered in a neighborhood just north of Old Town, where lumber products were sourced and sold across the West.

Today, one of the largest remaining buildings from the district, a blue-and-white building on Bellamah that once housed Frank Paxton Lumber Co.’s Albuquerque operations, is surrounded by scaffolding, as it undergoes a massive transformation into Sawmill Market.

The market, expected to be New Mexico’s first food hall when it opens, announced its first four tenants. They are – Dr. Field Goods Kitchen, Plata Coffee, Eldora Chocolate, and a new concept titled Mercantile Cafe & Wine Bar – that eventually will be joined by around 20 other food and beverage producers at the new 34,000-square-foot market.

The $24 million project is a massive undertaking, but developer Jim Long told the Journal it has the potential to become not only the center of a planned mixed-use district north of Old Town, but also a community hub for the entire city.

Artisan, unique, non-chain

“It’s artisan, it’s unique, it’s non-chain stores,” Prickett said of Sawmill Market.

Where Eldora Chocolate will need to contract its offerings to fit in the market, Plata Coffee is planning to expand. The coffee counter was founded by Rose Kerkmans and Aaron Ketner last fall. Kerkmans said the coffee shop currently occupies just 150 square feet in the ground floor of a low-income housing development that Ketner, an intern architect, designed. She said the market provides an opportunity to expand while still maintaining its focus on local coffee.

“Our mission was to, as much as possible, only sell and collaborate with New Mexican brands,” Kerkmans said.

Long said he expects Sawmill Market to be open by next February. Currently, builders are reconfiguring the vast interior space so tenants will be able to use it. While the development is the first of its kind in Albuquerque, he said he thinks Duke City is ready for an indoor market to call its own.

“Population-wise, I think we’re probably at the size now that we’ll see more variety,” Long said.

New Mexico’s first ‘food hall’ coming to Albuquerque

KRQE NEWS 13 - Written by: Courtney Allen | July 15, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They have been going up in cities around the country. Now, New Mexico is about to get its first food hall. 

An old lumber warehouse in the Sawmill District will be home to two dozen businesses. The retail space will be full of food, beverage and retail tenants once it opens in February. Business owners said they look forward to the market bringing people inconsistently year after year.

“This will have a little bit more tourists as well as locals, and we are happy to have both of those,” Steve Prickett, owner of Eldora Chocolate, said. 

Pricket is a new tenant of the market. The space is 34,000 square feet, which includes 11,000 square feet outside the building. It will be big enough to house 24 tenants. 

“We are really excited that the Sawmill District is really looking at themselves from a national standard and saying, ‘How can we create a nice environment?'” Prickett said.

Leasing manager Cindy Campos shared her vision for the project. “We want to make it a wonderful family-friendly experience for everybody,” Campos said. 

Other artisan markets like this are drawing crowds all over the country, like The Grove in Los Angeles. “We have seen a lot of food halls around the United States, and we wanted to bring the first one here because we want New Mexico to experience that community gathering,” Campos said. 

Prickett said he is happy to be part of the movement in the up-and-coming Sawmill District between Old Town and I-40. 

Campos said they are still looking for a few more tenants to complete the makeup of the market. You can call Campos at 720-329-1113 or visit SawmillMarket.com to apply.